Letter From The Editor - Issue 59 - October 2017

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Issue 13
Stories
Beautiful Winter
by Eugie Foster
Hologram Bride: Part Two
by Jackie Gamber
Second String
by David A. Simons
Command Transfer
by Darren Eggett
Folk of the Fringe Serialization
Salvage
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
De-Fence
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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-   -   -   -   P   r   e   v   i   e   w   -   -   -   -

Hologram Bride:  Part Two
Artwork by Julie Dillon
Hologram Bride: Part Two
    by Jackie Gamber

. . . continued from issue 12 . . .

I found the strength to run again, despite my struggling lungs. Dar'el had told me to run straight without veering, and I did. I hopped over fallen logs and climbed up and over craggy trunks, searching in the darkness for a way I didn't know and a hut I'd never seen before.

A glimmer of something caught my eye, then blinked out. I paused, panting, trying to decide if I'd imagined it. Then a breath of wind rustled low tree branches and through waving leaves I saw it again. Torchlight. In a rectangle shape, like a window. The hut!

I didn't hear anyone following me, but I didn't trust the silence. I lunged for the hut. I stumbled over something and landed on my hands and knees, right at the doorstep. The door swung open. A face like a pale honeydew melon peered down at me.

"You must be the bride," said the crone.

I got a strange feeling she was surprised, or maybe disappointed, to see me.

"Come, I'll make tea." She drew me to my feet, though she didn't look like she ought to be so strong.

She shuffled inside. Her dress was a robe, and it hung off her frame and puddled around her feet, looking made for someone twice her size. Maybe over time she'd shrunk inside it and hadn't noticed. Her spine was arched, her hands withered. Her frizzy hair was the color of butter. "You bleed," she said.

I looked down at my kneecap. A shallow gash oozed crimson down my shin. "It doesn't hurt."

"It will. Sit." She pointed to a chair, and I obeyed. She scuffled into a brightly lit corner and pulled a gingham blanket over a sculpture of twisted pipes. Then she opened a small trunk on a table.

I looked around the room. That's all it was, really; a single room with a cold fireplace, a bed, a small kitchen-like counter with cupboards and tools on the wall, and a table. It was no bigger than Dar'el's shed.

"I think the men have hurt Shandra," I said. "Can you help her?"

"How?" The woman looked over her shoulder at me while her hands busily gathered small tins.

"I don't know. Should we look for her?"

Knocking exploded on the door. The woman pointed a gnarled finger. "There she is now."

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